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Model 8 markings

I have a Model 8, variation 1, SN 391611 that has a strange stamp on the left side of the slide that looks like a lion and a date of 24.5.22. I assume the date is the manufacturing date but can't tell what the stamp above it is. Can anyone shed some light on it? I've attached a photo.
 

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I have a Model 8, variation 1, SN 391611 that has a strange stamp on the left side of the slide that looks like a lion and a date of 24.5.22. I assume the date is the manufacturing date but can't tell what the stamp above it is. Can anyone shed some light on it? I've attached a photo.
The "rampant lion" stamp might be Czech, but I am not sure I bet EMOUNT would know.
 

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Pmanske,

OK! Thanks for the photo of your Walther Model 8, first variation. Serial Number 391611 is a very very early production Model 8 made in 1920. The "strange" marking is, as yaqujubel says, a Czechoslovakian proof mark. When The Czechs, (and Austrians) imported pistols they re-proof tested them and stamped them with a special marking and usually the number of the pistol tested that year and the year itself. In the case of your pistol it appears that the stamp might just be the date that the pistol was proofed. So your Model 8 has the Czech Rampant Lion stamp along with May 24th, 1922. These Czech and Austrian proof marks are significant because they help us understand when these Walther pistols were made. The original Walther factory production records have been lost and so pistols like yours help to stitch together the timeline in which these guns were manufactured.

Immediately following WWI, Walther Firearms was very aggressive in marketing its pistols beyond the German Market. They sold a great many in America, and as your pistol shows, they were active in other European Countries as well. The early 1920's were very challenging times for German firearms companies. Walther Firearm's ability to expand their market beyond the troubled German economy played a large part in their long term success.

Your Model 8 is a great piece of history in addition to being a splendid pistol. It would be great if you could post more pictures of this pistol. I look forward to seeing them.

Earl
 

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Here's a couple of pics of my early Model 8. It's in pretty good shape but needs extractor and firing pin, on order.
Pmanske,

These pictures of your Model 8 are very exciting! Serial number 391611 with a Czech import stamp is very interesting. I would very much like to see a clearer picture of the proof stamps on the left side. The date appears to be March 24, 1922.

Thank you for sharing this very handsome Model 8. Does the magazine have the large "W" on the bottom?

Earl
 

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pmanske,

Thank you for the pictures! I would love to see a picture of the right side as well so that we have the serial number pictured. Your holster is very cool. Original Military style holsters for Model 8 pistols are very desirable. You are fortunate to have a nice rig.

More pictures please....

Earl
 
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